App State and AppHealthCare have identified three active cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Mountaineer football team players, according to a statement from Appalachian State athletics on Friday late afternoon.
All cases are recovering in isolation and contact tracing efforts have identified 18 players who are currently quarantining due to exposure to one of the active cases, according to Joey Jones, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications at Appalachian State University.
The Mountaineers continue to prepare for Saturday's football game vs. Campbell, which is set to kick off at noon. Sun Belt Conference guidelines permit App State to play the game as long as it is able to continue to safely field a two-deep depth chart at every position group, according to Jones.
These cases are considered to be included in an ongoing cluster that was announced in August, the statement from App State athletics also stated.
“Recent guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) prevents family spectators from attending athletic events during active clusters. We will follow that guidance and not have spectators in the stands for the Sept. 26 game.”, the statement went on to note.
Based on NCAA, conference and public health guidance, the App State football team participates in weekly COVID-19 testing for student-athletes and staff. App State Athletics has enhanced its protocols for ensuring correct use of face coverings, and continues its existing additional prevention and safety precautions, including physical distancing, hand washing and sanitization of equipment and facilities, the statement went on to state.